Until recently, women experiencing pain with sex in the absence of infection completely stumped medicine.
This is because pelvic floor physical therapy is the BEST treatment for pain with sex and intimacy...and the field was not well known, just 10-years ago!
But pain with sex is an astonishingly common occurrence in women, affecting at least 28% of the population (and probably more).
Not only is pain with intimacy a real downer for your sex life, it can also create tension between couples and stress relationships.
Women are simply not having positive sexual experiences! And this is a truly, terrible thing.
So why are women having pain with sex?
Here are a few reasons:
Vaginal atrophy/dryness due to decreased estrogen levels
Tight/tense/or spasming pelvic floor
Scar tissue from birth or surgery
How PT Can Help
Pelvic floor physical therapy can help pain that is stemming from scar tissue or pelvic floor tension.
In order to allow for pain-free penetration, the pelvic floor has to be able to relax completely. Most women/humans who have a tight and tense pelvic floor don't even know this is the case, and therefore it's almost impossible to relax!
In pelvic floor physical therapy, we first evaluate the pelvic floor to find the underlying cause of the pain. I then coach women to gain awareness of this region.
But this is just one piece of the puzzle.
Our pelvic floor muscles require relaxation to achieve an orgasm, but that's not the entire story.
Women also require an adequate warm-up in order to properly enjoy sex.
This does not look like what you see in the media, where a couple meets, start making out, and then BAM they're doing it!
Women need their OWN warm up prior to insertion in order to ensure adequate blood flow to the perineum and production of self-lubrication.
I often tell my moms to achieve a full clitoral orgasm before inserting anything vaginally. This ensures the sexual satisfaction of the woman as well as prepares her body for sex.
Your partner can help you to achieve this orgasm, or not.
You learning how to do it yourself is even more important than your partner's ability to perform.
Carving out regular masturbation time is incredibly important for women. Exploring, connecting and learning your body will infinitely improve your sex life by helping you direct your partner, voice your preferences, and therefore decrease pain and discomfort.
Pain with sex is frequently the result of tight and tense pelvic floor muscles, and is best addressed by pelvic floor physical therapy.
Learning how to decrease tension in your pelvic floor will improve your ability to achieve orgasm and have pain free insertion.
Reaching orgasm prior to penetration can be helpful in reducing pain with sex.
Regular masturbation is important for women to understand their preferences and communicate them to their partner!
If you're struggling with painful sex, make sure you book an appointment today!